Tell us what you do!
I oversee the beverage programs for Momofuku, and I founded Bellus Wines.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
Haverford College in Haverford, PA. I also went to culinary school at Johnson & Wales, and am part of the Court of Master Sommeliers.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? (i.e. movie star, doctor, unicorn, etc…)
Film director, lawyer, marine biologist, food critic…
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
I fell in love with wine through a winding path that involved cooking with Daniel Boulud, and an article that didn’t work out for the New York Times. My paternal grandfather used to make wine in his basement, so wine, for me, occupied both a space of familiarity and of intrigue. The two jobs that led me to where I am today were a hostess position at Wylie Dufresne’s wd~50 when the restaurant opened, and a job in the kitchen at Restaurant Daniel. Working with Wylie opened my eyes to the passion, creativity, and intellect in the restaurant industry, and working with Daniel made me realize I wanted to work in the industry instead of write about it. Daniel also led to my first opportunity to work harvest in Burgundy, which then led to working harvest regularly, which led to starting Bellus Wines.
Any obstacles along the way?
The main one was realizing that sometimes the universe has a better idea of what you should be doing than you do yourself. A few things that felt like obstacles at the time are, in retrospect, the very turning points that led me to better opportunities.
Who is your idol?
Audrey Hepburn for her style and grace. Amelia Earhart for her fearlessness. Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton for breaking boundaries elegantly. Coco Chanel for her vision. Maya Angelou for her wisdom. My sister, Kendyl, for her empathy. My sister, Anne-Marie, for her sense of humor.
Three personal traits/qualities that helped you get to where you are:
A strong work ethic. Curiosity. Self-reflection.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
Someone who creates her own paradigm, listens well, fights elegantly for the things she believes in, and does it with honesty, grace and style.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
During the day, sweaters or t-shirts and a great pair of jeans. On the dining room floor, a well-tailored dress and Céline v-neck pumps.
Favorite brand right now?
I’m in love with Proenza Schouler for everything from bags, to lip liner, to dresses. Alaïa for special occasions.
Go-to clothing item/accessory right now?
Aurélie Bidermann rose gold lace cuff.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Caudalié ‘Pulpe Vitaminée’ moisturizer, Glossier ‘Balm Dotcom,’ and YSL’s Touche Éclat.
Go-to nail color?
Pale pink during the summer. In the winter, dark red.
Tea, usually. Espresso in Italy.
What makes you feel beautiful?
My husband and my girlfriends make me feel beautiful. In a different way, so does a great pair of heels and a gorgeous dress.
What makes you feel badass?
That feeling I get when I’ve accomplished something I set out to do. Finishing the wine list at Momofuku Ko was a great feeling, as was bottling each new vintage of our various Bellus wines. Team dinners are also some of my favorite moments. Connecting on that level – and mapping out our visions together is perhaps the most badass of all.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
Loved #GIRLBOSS. Also loved Walter Issacson’s biography of Steve Jobs and Simon Sineck’s Start with Why.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice? (i.e. Chocolate, tequila, Justin Bieber, etc.)
Dark chocolate and margaritas in equal measure.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
Daft Punk! Especially “Instant Crush.”
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
“Flawless” by Beyoncé.
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela
Also love Thomas Jefferson’s “The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
“Whatever you do, make it great or fail trying.” – David Chang.
“You have the ability to create your own paradigm in life.” – my friend, Jennifer Heller.
Advice to future girl bosses:
Keep an open mind, do something you love, and work hard for the things you believe in.